Building Bridges Educational Tour

Building Bridges Educational Tour

Trip Dates:  May 19th-29th 2019
Cost:  Free*

Application link is below. Please thoroughly read all information before applying.

Click HERE to nominate someone for this experience.

Johns Hopkins Hillel is excited to begin the application process for the 2019 Building Bridges Educational Tour!  This trip is designed for 25 Jewish and non-Jewish undergraduate student leaders involved in diverse campus groups, most with little or no previous experience in Israel.  Building Bridges participants will interact meaningfully with Israeli society and history, exploring the many nuances and complexities of maintaining a Jewish and democratic state while developing a textured understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In order to gain better understandings of our complex world, we invite you on a once in a lifetime journey to the Holy Land. We will attempt to learn, grow, ask big questions, and deepen our understanding of the complex and beautiful region that is modern day Israel. This journey will help us to learn not only about Israel, but also about the ways we interact with one another and engage in conversation.

For this special experience, we are looking for leaders from different student groups on campus to join us for an intense and experiential 10 day trip to Israel. We will meet many different speakers and discuss topics in regards to Israel’s unique character, including: history, culture, human rights, and political issues of the country and the region.

Together, we will be traveling all around the country and visiting some of the most beautiful, complex, and interesting places including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and if security allows, the West Bank and the Gaza border.

Trip Highlights

This unique Geo-Political tour of Israel and the West Bank is designed to give participants a nuanced experience, learning from a spectrum of Israeli and Palestinian perspectives.  Below is a SAMPLE of possible trip experiences:

  • Learn about Tel Aviv’s thriving LGBTQ* culture on an interactive walking tour
  • Experience Mediterranean beach culture in Tel Aviv
  • Experience (and taste!) the agricultural revolution taking place in Israel’s Negev Desert
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Tour Yad VaShem – Israel’s World Holocaust Remembrance Center
  • Taste your way through Mahane Yehuda, Israel’s largest open air market
  • Share a traditional Shabbat dinner with a local Jerusalem host family
  • Reflect at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site
  • Explore Jerusalem’s Old City including the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Eat a TON of Hummus
  • Ascend the Temple Mount – a site holy to both Jews and Muslims
  • Travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank and tour the Church of the Nativity
  • Walk through the streets of Ramallah and meet with members of the Palestinian Authority
  • Cruise the Sea of the Galilee and enjoy nightlife in Tiberias
  • Taste the beer in Tybeh one of the first Palestinian breweries
  • Go off-roading in Israel’s north to explore the history and terrain of the Golan Heights
  • Visit an absorption center for Ethiopian immigrants in Yokneam

Important Dates and Information:

  • February 25, 2019 at 12:00 PM – Application deadline
  • February 26 – March 8, 2019 – In-person interviews (15 min)
  • March 15, 2019 – Decisions are released
  • March 20, 2019 at 12:00 PM – Deposits are due
  • TBA – Pre-trip orientations
  • Fly leaves from JFK Airport – May 20, 2019 at 12:10 AM
  • Flight returns to JFK Airport – May 29, 2019 at 10:50 AM

Requirements to be a participant:

1) Be returning to the Hopkins Homewood campus as an undergraduate. student for the 2019-2020 academic year.
2) Hold a leadership role on campus.
3) Pay a $250 deposit to secure your spot. It will be refunded after the trip’s completion.
4) Be present for two pre-trip orientation sessions.
5) Be willing to share your experiences when we return to campus, including taking part in our unique follow-up programs.
6) Hold a valid passport that allows you to travel to Israel.

*Trip Costs

Included: Airfare to/from Israel, 2 meals per day, 10-day guided tour of Israel, and accommodations in 4-5 star hotels, authentic Israeli Kibbutzim (communal farms), and a night in a Bedouin tent, plus travel medical insurance are fully-underwritten by Johns Hopkins Hillel and the Maccabee Task Force.

Covered by you: Transportation to/from JFK Airport, one meal per day, and spending money for snacks, souvenirs, etc. Participants are required to submit a $250 refundable trip deposit by March 15th, 2019 at 12:00 PM to reserve their spot. The deposit will be refunded so long as the individual successfully completes the trip or withdraws prior to March 25th, 2019 at 12:00 PM. If any of these costs will prohibit you from joining, please email to discuss.

Have any additional questions? Contact Lior Navon at